My name is Ben Sledge and I'm a rigging and technical artist. I help animation and visual effects companies make compelling characters for film and video. When I'm not designing articulation systems or coding deformers, you can find me exploring the vibrant city of Vancouver and the mountains of beautiful British Columbia.
As a character technical director and rigging artist, I turn characters into digital puppets that animators can breathe life into. I center my work-flow around creating scripted rig solutions that are easily updated. In production, models always change (even well after they're "final"), so rigs always need to be updated. The more the process is automated, the easier and more accurate those updates can be.
I'm highly skilled with Autodesk Maya. I'm very familiar with Python scripting (and PyMel) and plug-in development (in both Python and C++). In my current and previous rolls I have been responsible for crafting deformation rigs, extending proprietary build systems, creating scripts to increase rig functionality, and developing custom Maya tools for both the rigging and animation departments. And I have been responsible for developing character-specific cloth rigs and running cloth simulations on feature film shots.
I graduated from the Digital Production Arts program at Clemson University in 2014. For my Master's thesis I developed an object-oriented, modular rigging system in PyMel. The source code is available on GitHub.
Since graduating, I've been working on artistic and technical elements of characters for films at MPC, Rainmaker Studios and Industrial Light & Magic in Vancouver, British Columbia.